Restaurants in Madrid, the Best Places for Eating Out

By: Sophia Lacroix

The best places to eat in Madrid are not necesarily expensive, but as the offer of tapas bars and restaurants is so high, the difficulty of just getting it right it is very obvious. I was very recently asked by a friend who was visiting Madrid, what where the best places to eat well, and here a brief result of that conversation.

In the city centre of Madrid you can eat a daily menu for 8 €, which is roughly £5 on most of restaurants around the Old Town. The famous tapas are actually quite widespread but Spaniards go primarely to two parallel streets called Cava Baja and Cava Alta, to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with tapas (Spanish appetizer).

One of the ‘must stop’ restaurants is located in Calle Cuchilleros, known as Restaurante Botin, it is in fact the oldest in the world, and important celebrities, Hollywood stars, Presidents and Prime Ministers have been seen there. In fact this restaurant has been so successful that the owner, Emilio Botin, is now one of the richest people in Spain, and enjoys being the president of the Santander Bank apart.

Although Restaurante Botin does have the fame, it is not necessarily the best quality restaurant. Just a few minutes walking distance from Calle Cuchilleros there is a place called Casa Lucio, which has to be booked months in advance. The speciality of the house is called ‘Huevos estrellados’, which are simply chips with fried eggs on top. Once you try this dish you will surely become addicted to it. Casa Lucio has seen guests like Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher or George W. Bush. The rates are still really affordable.

If you want to experience the real Spain, go to any of the tapas bars called ‘Lizarran’, they are virtually on any district in Madrid. Lizarran is a franchise that offers drinks and a self service of tapas, you can take them from the display in the bar and you will be charged at the counter when you finished by the number of wooden sticks left on your dish. It is a common practice by people from Madrid trying to hide some sticks in order to get a few tapas free of charge, but be aware, if you are caught it is quite an embarrasing situation.

In front of the Royal Palace and right next to the Opera House you will find the Cafe the Oriente, probably the best terrace in Madrid with wonderful views and life music in the summer, it is decorated in an 18th century French style at affordable prices. The light of the candles, the atmosphere of Plaza de Oriente during the night and quality food make sit a perfect place for a romantic dinner.

If you can afford it, the Restaurant and summer Terrace at the Ritz Hotel is of the best places, in particular the Sunday Brunch will simply take your breath away. It takes quite a lot of preparation but the end result is fantastic. The Ritz Hotel is also ‘the place’ where all the Hollywood stars stay and eat during their film premieres throughtout the year.

Other high quality restaurants are Asador Donostiarra, El Amparo, Lhardy, and Portobello, where David Beckham enjoyed numerous lunches while he was playing in Real Madrid. are really expensive, so by staying in privately owned you can save lots of money and invest it more wisely on eating out. The same advice applies for

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